For some reason, when people think of food safety, ice is not one of the first things that come to mind. However, the importance of handling ice properly is just as important as the safe handling of meat, fish, and all other foods. It is important for employees to be taught how to handle ice safely in order to avoid, in the best case scenario, bad tasting ice, and in the worst case scenario, poisoning. For best ice results, make sure to follow these guidelines.
- Clean ice machines on a daily basis. Otherwise, the machines, aside from producing poorer quality, bad tasting ice, won’t work as well, and will use more energy to reach its proper temperature since slime and mineral deposits build-up in the machines.
- Clean all ice supplies, such as buckets, tongs, pitchers, picks etc., with hot soapy water or place them in the dishwasher after each use. Make sure they are left to dry fully.
- Filtered water to make ice cubes is the way to go. Have a filtered water system installed in your ice machine in order to get the best quality ice for your guests.
- All employees must wash their hands prior to handling ice, even though they are not meant to actually touch the ice with their hands.
- Make sure to have separate equipment that is made for the handling of ice only.
- Never reuse used ice. You want to supply your guests with the freshest ice at all times.
- If you think that the ice may have been touched by people or food, spill it out and get fresh ice.
- Refreezing melted ice is a big no-no.
- Employees should be cautioned never to touch ice with their bare hands. That’s what the dedicated ice scoops are for.
- Never store bottles or other products that you want to keep cool in the same ice that you’ll use in drinks served to your customers.